University of Central Florida

Information Technology
Undergraduate Program

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Frequently Asked Questions

IT compared to CS, CpE, and IST

What are the differences between the various computer-based degrees you offer?

We have four computer-related degrees in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at UCF. These are Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Systems Technology , and Information Technology. Many people try to understand the differences by asking what kinds of jobs graduates get. Unfortunately, you cannot differentiate these degrees by job duties. The problem is that we cannot even guess what the jobs will be in four years, or even two years. What is common among them is that each prepares you for the Information Technology job market. How they differ is in the way they are packaged, especially in the non-CS courses that you must take.

In Computer Science, you are getting a traditional science degree. That means you take Calculus I and II, Physics with Calculus, and two additional science classes taken by majors in that discipline. You also take courses in discrete mathematics that educate you so you can use mathematics to reason about abstractions, and you have the strength to create new ways to do such reasoning. You are a scientist -- or at least one in the making.

In Computer Engineering, you do the calculus and physics and science, plus differential equations and Calculus III, and you also take traditional engineering courses such as those in statics and dynamics. You do not take the discrete math that a CS person takes. You learn to think like an engineer about systems and how they operate in a broader environment, often involving integration with electronic and mechanical hardware.

In Information Systems Technology, you take the core of CS, but you do not take very much of the continuous math, or even take discrete math in the depth of a CS major. Rather, you spend lots of time in labs, running empirical studies on the systems that you have designed and implemented. Somewhat like an engineer, you are concerned with the total system, but you look at issues of how to administer it and empirically study its performance over time and in context. Your mathematical skills are strong enough to reason about your designs, but not necessarily strong enough to create new way to reason or to analytically study such systems in depth.

In Information Technology, you take the core of CS, but you do not take very much of the continuous math, or even take discrete math in the depth of a CS major. Rather, you spend lots of time in labs, running empirical studies on the systems that you have designed and implemented. Somewhat like an engineer, you are concerned with the total system, but you look at issues of how to administer it and empirically study its performance over time and in context. Your mathematical skills are strong enough to reason about your designs, but not necessarily strong enough to create new way to reason or to analytically study such systems in depth.

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Changing Major to IT

How and when can I change my major to IT

Just stop in to Engineering 107 and fill out the forms to change your major to Information Technology. The code is 0703. You will also need to change your catalog year to 2000 or later, as the program did not exist before then.

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Upper Division Electives

Can these be from any area of interest, or must they be from the courses listed in the "Samples include" section of the Information Technology brief? (The "Samples include" title sounds self-explanatory, but I want to make sure that I can move away from those three areas.)

You choose what you want -- one area, multiple areas, whatever. We enforce the rule that the 15 credits be upper division, and that 9 of them are at the 4000-level or above.

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Free Electives

Can the 15"Free" electives be from anywhere I want? Meaning, since I already have several other areas covered, can I use those without having them be upper division credits or specific to an area within Computer Science or Information Technology?

They just fill out the required 120 credits. There are no restrictions.

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Schedule of Course Offerings

Just to get this straight, Circuit Analysis, Info Theory, Lab 2 for networks, Lab 1 for OS, and Frontiers in IT will all be given in the next year or so, and the rest of the major (for now) is basically free electives in anything we want, correct?

It's not free electives. There are constraints on the level of the courses, and no course double counts, nor can you use a course and its temporary substitute (e.g., CGS3285 and CET4483). Moreover, you have to take Ethics, OS, Networking, two Technical Writing, CS1, CS2, Foundations of Discrete Math, etc. The curriculum is clearly defined at

http://www.cs.ucf.edu/csdept/info/itwebsite/curriculum.html

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Internships

Frontiers in IT can be substituted by doing an internship or co-op, right?

A Co-op cannot substitute for Frontiers in IT or an internship. However, an internship that is approved as part of our internship program will be credited with 3 credit hours of CGS 4941 IT Internship and can substitute for Frontiers in IT.

For more information on the internship program please visit the IT Internship Program webpage.

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Networking

Is it possible that we would have to take CET 4483 at a later date even if we are in CGS 3285 right now, or would taking it right now guarantee that it can be used as a prerequisite to the lab? In other words, would those taking CGS 3285 right now be able to get into the networks lab in the summer without a problem, or is it still up in the air?

We are approving CGS 3285 as a substitute for CET 4483 for a short time. If you take CGS 3285 during this time (or in the past), you are okay. We would not retroactively change the rules to your detriment. 

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Foundation exam

Are IT majors required to pass the foundation exam?

No foundation exam is required as yet. This could change in the future, but it will not be the CS Foundation Exam and no change like this will occur in the first several years of the program.

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Second degree

I hold a BS degree in a non-technical field, but I have decided to pursue a second degree in information technology. What would be the fastest way to get a degree in IT considering my degree and lack of computer classes?

Since you already have a degree, the normal General Education Program (GEP) requirements of the university will have been met. However, our IT program requires certain prerequisites that normally also count for the GEP, which you may be missing. These prerequisites are outlined in section 2 of the curriculum. Other courses required to complete a degree in IT are as follows and are also found in the curriculum:

Section 3 outlines the required IT core courses
Section 4 outlines the required writing courses
Section 5 outlines the Electives requirement
Section 6 shows the free/open electives required of students in our program in order to reach the university's 120 hour requirement. I am not sure if this will apply to you since you already have a degree.

Note: MAC 2147 requirement can also be met by taking both MAC 1105 College Algebra and MAC 1114 Trigonometry. (You may have taken one or both of these courses for your degree already).

About 101 credit hours (about 33 courses) would be required in order to acquire an IT degree, but this number may be less if you already satisfy some requirements with courses previously taken for your previous degree.

The most accurate method for assessing your requirements and outlining a plan of study is to have your transcripts reviewed by an advisor. Additionally, our college's Academic Affairs office can provide advising and can answer many questions regarding acquiring a second degree, admissions, etc. Their phone number is 407-823-2455.

Please view our IT program brochure (PDF), which specifies degree requirements and the curriculum. It also has the above information.

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Substitutions

Course substitutions are allowed as follows:
MAD 2104 COT 3100C
EEL 4882 COP 4600
MAC 2147 Any calculus course or both
MAC 1105
and MAC 1114
PHY 2053C PHY 2048
ECO 2013 ECO 2023
CGS 2545C COP 4710
CGS 3285 CET 4483
COP 4910 CGS 4941
ENC 3241 ENC 3211 or ENC 3250

Any course not listed above, will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Can the UNIX class be used in IT?

UNIX can be used as an UD elective.

Can the Java class be used in IT?

Only as a free elective to build your total credit hours up to 120.

Will we still have to take the OO Programming  (COP 3330) class if we took C and Java?

Yes, the C course is a prerequisite to the OO course. The Java course was taught as a beginning course. The OO course is not taught in that way. It assumes knowledge of the core syntax of C and basic programming skills. In fact, we strongly recommend that you take the OO course after taking CS1 (COP 3502).

For the physics (PHY 2053) requirement I see an asterisk next to it, later on in the catalog it says that these courses can be replaced with others from the same group in the GEP. Is there anyway that I could replace Physics with the upper level Biology I took for the CS major (BSC2010)?

The IT requires PHY 2053. The GEP gives options of Biology; we don't. However, a higher-level Physics works, e.g., PHY 2048.

What math class if any can replace the ones that are required?

Any Calculus course can substitute for the pre-calculus course. COT 3100 can substitute for the Foundations of Discrete Mathematics.

Can the Pascal class I took be counted for anything towards the curriculum, How about for C?

The C is required. The Pascal is just a free elective.

I have an AA degree. Do I have to take PHI 2xxx (Ethics in Science and Tech.)?

Yes. This is a course we feel is central to the IT degree.

 

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School of Electrical Engineering and
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University of Central Florida
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Last Updated: Friday, July 7, 2006